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Office of Federal Relations Internship

The Office of Federal Relations invites undergraduate or graduate students from Vanderbilt University or the Washington, D.C.-area with ties to Tennessee who are interested in higher education or science public policy issues to apply for our summer, fall, or spring internships.

This internship will provide you with a firsthand look at the federal policymaking process and the role that advocates play in influencing public policy. As one of the nation's leading research universities, Vanderbilt University plays an important role in the federal process. Both as a recipient of federal grant money, and as an expert provider of cutting-edge research and analysis, Vanderbilt's voice is vital to the consideration of national policy issues. Among the many topics on which the Office of Federal Relations focuses are funding for research in science, engineering, social sciences, education, and the humanities; higher education policy; student aid; tax issues; policies related to international students and scholars; and intellectual property issues.

As an intern, your responsibilities will include:

  • Researching public policy initiatives related to higher education and federally funded research
  • Tracking legislation related to the university’s priorities
  • Attending hearings and briefings on and off Capitol Hill
  • Publishing a weekly newsletter that is sent to Capitol Hill staff
  • Contributing to a daily round-up of federal news items sent to Vanderbilt faculty and staff
  • Updating communications tools
  • Assisting the Office Administrator and Assistant Director with administrative tasks

The ideal candidate would have a strong interest in the federal policy process and the issues of interest to the university. Strong writing and critical thinking skills are a must!

Internships may be paid or for academic credit, depending on the opportunities offered through your academic institution.

Summer Internship:

The summer internship is typically a full time (40 hours per week) commitment. Generally, the internship lasts eight weeks, beginning in early June and concluding at the end of July, but we are willing to work with you on exact dates. To apply for the summer internship experience, please submit your cover letter and resume by February 1 to Heather Bloemhard.

Fall and Spring Internships:

The fall and spring semester internships can be a full or part time commitment. We will work with you to coordinate an appropriate start and end date and weekly schedule based around your classes. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume by August 1 for a fall semester internship and December 1 for a spring semester internship.

Please submit all applications to Heather Bloemhard at , or contact Heather for additional information.